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Guidelines (Draft)

Manuel Becker Manuel Becker in News
01.03. · 8 min read
Photo by Manuel Becker

Your opinion is important for us, so instead of just releasing new guidelines for the community, we want to share the current draft with you and discuss these points since they might have a big impact on the platform in the future.

This month, we already reached the mark of being over 40.000 members within this community, sharing the most beautiful places for photographers and travellers. This is a good reason to finally publish a draft for the new community guidelines, which for now mainly affect uploading photos and creating spots. When I founded this platform a few years ago, I never imagined that it could grow that fast and that so many awesome people around the world would work on this "Wikipedia-like" database for photo spots together. I already thought about every change I or we made to the platform very carefully and almost every decision about how Locationscout works meant lots of discussions and endless nights thinking about it in advance.
A good example are spots and why the spot uploader makes suggestions about possible duplicates. This alone took me weeks to think about, change my opinion a few times while always keeping in mind what would help me or you as a photographer/traveller the most in the future.

So the question is: Should everybody own his own spots or should the data be combined into one spot?

Since it would need a lot of programmatic changes to the platform it was extremely important to decide and if possible stick with this decision for a long time. As you might know already, I did decide to start with combined spots because this is, in my opinion, the only way to have great information about these places in the future. Having to search through 100 duplicated spots to get everything I might need for my trip just isn't convenient, although it was a hard path to design the features in a way that users don't feel bad when somebody else would optimize the information within a spot or somebody who wants to upload a new photo is fine with putting it into an existing spot. So I hope you feel with me when I tell you that I tried to balance different perspectives and opinions to create the best basis for this platform in the future.

Until now, our goal was to reach a critical mass of spots that would help the community to plan trips more easily and share places they enjoyed. Having no spot at all at the place you want to go wouldn't be satisfying, but many regions already have so many spots right now that the next focus should be more and more about the quality of these places, so lets finally start with the draft of new guidelines to achieve this new goal together that everybody might benefit from.

Guidelines

The following ideas are not ordered by the importance. The number is just there to make it easier to discuss a specific guideline in the comments below. The summarized basic idea is: "Would you find it helpful to discover the spot/photo you want to share when travelling to this region and how should that spot look like to help you find this place?"

1. Don’t create a new spot if the exact same spot is existing already

I talked about the reason already in the intro above. Having duplicates is something that we will clean up in the future anyway because having 20 spots for the same perspective is just not helpful for anybody. The photo lists within locations and countries are already ordered in a way that a photo that was added could be in front of the initial photo, so adding a photo to a spot shouldn't have a negative impact on your photo being seen. Quite the opposite is the case. While your photo on other platforms will never be seen again after a few days when you shared it, your photo might be seen again and again when somebody else adds a photo to the existing spot. This is something I experience a lot with my photos and why I think that this is a huge benefit for every photographer.

2. Don’t upload a photo to a spot that’s taken from a different place

This is the opposite of 1. and which is something I see a lot. Keep in mind that if you would see a spot with photos in a radius of 1000m or more, then the spot won't help anybody, especially if they don't know the region or city where these photos were taken. I know it's more effort to create multiple spots but we already tried to make it as easy as possible to create them.

3. Don’t upload all photos you took from one Location into one Spot

Almost the same as 2. but with a new spot that contains all the photos from one location or even a whole vacation. This won’t help anybody to find these places - a spot should only contain other photos that are taken from the same spot with nearly the same direction. This is already a point why I already though about limiting the photos per spot per user to 2 or 3 photos, which would mean that everybody should focus around the best results instead of just uploading tons of nearly equal photos into one spot. Feel free to share your opinion on this thought in the comments below.

4. Don’t post food photos

It's not about food photos in general. The basic idea behind this guideline is, that Locationscout is focused around spots. Having a spot with a beautiful photo of pasta is in most cases just not helpful for other photographers, since it's too generic. The same applies to random stones on the ground, letterings in the sand of a beach etc. Anything that wouldn't be there when I would go there is not that helpful on most of the cases. Exceptions confirm the rule, so a beautiful food market that is at a place every Wednesday might be a good spot.

5. Don't upload photos that you didn't take yourself

No words needed I guess. Please just don't and only upload photos you took yourself. Respecting the copyright of others is extremely important for us.

6. Don’t upload photos from people that don’t want to be shared online, photos of children are a No-Go in general and will be deleted immediately

This is self-explaining as well. If you share photos of people, especially if you can see their faces, make sure that it is fine for them to be shared online. Not everybody wants to be seen on a platform and you should respect that. Another good example is schools. Please don't share photos of kids going to school, because you wouldn't expose details like that about your kids as well on the web, would you?

7. Don’t use daytimes as a spot title, because others might add other images to this spot

This is a learning I had to make as well since the platform started with just a few spots and now they can be edited by everyone and more and more spots contain a lot of photos. So always keep in mind to title a spot based on the geography and not based on your specific photo.

8. Don’t just upload a photo with no information about the spot

I get a lot of feedback via email about this and I personally prefer an exactly marked spot without a description over no spot at all. But if English is a problem, just use DeepL or Google Translate and write the texts in your own language before you copy and paste the English translation into the description. Having at least some details, especially about the travel information is so valuable to others and they will be thankful to have these details.

9. Don’t upload the same photos to multiple spots

When duplicate spots exist, please don't upload the same photo to all of them. Your profile gallery will look weird and they won't rank better or help anybody since duplicate spots will be merged in the future anyway.

Additional Recommendations

Here is some space for additional recommendations that might improve the content quality overall without being a strict guideline.

A. Try to avoid big photo borders (Copyright / Logo in an adequate size is fine of course), because it looks weird in the previews

Locationscout is creating multiple thumbnails of your photos to show them in your profile gallery, in the home feed, the locations, countries, themes etc. Having huge borders in these galleries looks weird and in almost every case these borders are grabbing the viewers attention away from your beautiful photo, which is why I personally always recommend leaving your photo as it is, independently from uploading it to Locationscout.
That said, having huge copyright logos on a photo is fine of course, but keep in mind that this will lower the quality of your photo because it grabs a lot of attention. If you want to advertise for your website, just add it to your profile and it will be shown directly below the photo as a clickable link, which is also great for your ranking in Google.

B. Try to write about what would help you when you haven’t been at this spot yet instead of writing the texts solely about your photo

Keep in mind that Locationscout tries to be different than other photo-sharing platforms that already exist in the web and that having the next photo-sharing platform simply wouldn't make sense. That's why Locationscout is focused around all these beautiful places out there and about sharing them with the community. Writing the texts as if you would try to go there for the first time is the most helpful thing you can do and something that is highly appreciated by other travellers. The great part about that: Even if you are a beginner you don't need to worry so much about your photographic skills since adding a spot with helpful details is still valuable for others and you can read our Blog to learn new techniques or join our Facebook Community to ask questions.

Your opinion

As I said already, these guidelines are not finished yet and I want to keep the amount as low as possible because nobody likes rules, me included. Nevertheless, I feel that these might help to improve the quality of the content even more. With over 4.000 text changes to existing spots by the community, we are already on a good way, thank you very much to anybody who suggested a change to an existing spot already! That's awesome.

To prevent and merge duplicated spots, we already implemented a report feature within the last few weeks, so that you are now able to report almost everything on this platform if you think that something is wrong about it and you can't fix it yourself. The reason behind this feature is, that it is a requirement by Apple if we want to get listed in the app store with the app (iOS + Android) we want to release soon, but I hope that it will help to improve the content as well in the future.

Thank you for your honest opinion in the comments below about the guidelines and about the format of this blog post (if you would like to read more about "behind the scenes" of developing this platform). Feel free to write me a mail as well to [email protected] if you want to share your thoughts privately.

P.S. The teaser photo was taken at Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park, Canada.

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Comments (112)

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Owin Thomas
Owin Thomas 30.07.
Hi Manuel, What a great resource you have created. I will be dipping in and out of this site many times from now on. My apologies if this sounds like a rant from a new member it’s not intended to be, just constructive criticism. I have been looking around the site and have noticed some inaccuracies with some of the location spots. How are you controlling location information, after all this is a location specific resource? An example of what I mean, I can search for “Edinburgh” (as I am local to the city) and this shows all the location spots for my search, but this is not the case when I want a more granular search. For example, if I search for “Royal Mile” I get shown 47 spots, not all of which are of the Royal Mile. Why are these locations being shown? Is it proximity to location? There are errors in the latitude and longitude data, fair enough if these are being specified by the photographer and they are entering wrong data. Can these errors be corrected or flagged by people who know the location? Would it possible to get the Lat&Long data from the image Exif data if it’s available?
Owin Thomas
Owin Thomas 30.07.
Sorry I forgot to mention, I think the guidelines you have laid out are good as a starter set, I'm sure as the site's popularity grows you and the members will come up with others.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 30.07.
Hey dear Owin, no worries about criticism, I am really thankful for that and I really appreciate your open words because that's the best way to improve the platform in the future. First a warm welcome to the community and lets clarify the wordings you are using so that I understand you correctly. Locations are anything that has a name like "Edinburgh" or "Royal Mile". Locations are just "tags" that are grouping what we call Spots. A Spot is a specific geo position where a photo was taken and these can be attached to multiple Locations, for example "Paris" + "Eiffel Tower" if both is visible within the frame. To make sure that people are not missing tags, Locations have a feature that a radius is included based on the type of Location. Edinburgh is a city so there is a radius of 10km which is included by default. You can disable the radius when you open the Location, go to the tab "Spots" and open the options on the right above the photos. If you select 0 km you see only Spots that were tagged with "Edinburgh" as a Location. This said it's obviously not that easy with so many Spots to make sure that everything is tagged correctly. That's why the spot content itself is already editable similar to Wikipedia and in the future the tags + the geo position will be editable as well so that spots will get improved content in the future, because locals like you know best and if you see something that can be changed just change it and it will be reviewed by the mod team. Does that help as an answer and does it make sense to you? I am always open-minded to suggestions on how to improve the system for the long-term. Have a great day and thank you again for your feedback, really appreciate it!
Owin Thomas
Owin Thomas 30.07.
Thanks for the prompt reply Manuel. Yes, this now makes sense, or will do once I start using the site a little more.
Owin Thomas
Owin Thomas 31.07.
Hi Manuel, I think there is major issue with updating location spotnames. I tried yesterday to rename one location spotname that has been incorrectly named "Edinburgh Royal Mile" to "The Scott Monument, located in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh", as a test, but the edit to the one image, once approved, updated all 6 images. There needs to be a way to unlink images from a location spotname, so it can be corrected, if you see what I mean. If I rename a location spotname for an image it should ask if I wanted to create a new location spotname, if that location spotname doesn't already exist, otherwise it should link the image to an existing location spotname. Sorry, just needed to let this be known, so the site works as it should.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.08.
Hey dear Owin, we are talking about spots not locations, are we? There are some issues we still need to solve like being able to create a new spot directly with an image from another spot to split them if they don't fit. The basic idea behind spots is, that if you have been to the same spot you can and should simply add your photo to the existing spot to prevent duplicates. That said it's important that photos from another place are not added and if that's not the case it's usually no problem to fix the title because every photo should be from the almost identical place. Could you send me a link from your example so that I can have a look?
Owin Thomas
Owin Thomas 01.08. , edited
No problem Manuel, I understand the pressures of coding. Link: https://www.locationscout.net/united-kingdom/9530-the-scott-monument-located-in-princes-street-gardens-edinburgh These 6 images were labelled as "Edinburgh Royal Mile", 5 of 6 were shot by Micheal Sass, the other by Werner Koch. 3 of the images (1,5 & 6, if shown in the same order) have the monument in the image, the other three don't. I changed image 5. As an aside, can you start a future request blog post, please? Might be easier to keep them separate. Just a thought.
Annemarie Berlin
Annemarie Berlin 17.06.
Hello, Manuel, i think it's a pity that due to the amount of pictures (sometimes more than 100 per day) uploaded by some users, single pictures of other users get lost in the mass and immediately disappear from the visible page. Is it still possible to look at pictures that are no longer visible? I can't do it. How can you still see all the pictures of the day in the evening? Kind regards Annemarie Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 17.06.
Hey dear Annemarie, I am already working on a solution for that. With the first concept of the feed I simply didn't expect that so many people would upload so many photos but a better solution for this is already on it's way. Thank you as always for the feedback dear Annemarie!
William
William 12.06.
Hi Its Bill McKnight again. While answering questions about the time of day when shooting seascapes its often the state of the tide thats most important. Hope it helps Bill
William
William 10.06.
Hi Manuel, You ask questions as to the number of people at a particular spot. The choice of answer is very limiting. It may be that in the summer seson there will be lots of people but in the winter few or none. As someone who visits places out of season it poses a dilemma as to which to choose. Great site
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 10.06.
Hey dear William, yeah I know that this isn't optimal yet. This feature was implemented before the platform went live so I wasn't sure yet on what exactly is needed to get the perfect information. Important though: It's asking about how much people there are usually, because there is always a timeslot when there is less trafic, for example early in the morning. Asking for all different kinds of combinations feels a little bit too much for most of the users I guess. I am fully with you though that it's not optimal yet and that this needs more fine tuning ;-) Thank you very much for your constructive feedback, really appreciate that. Manuel
Donovan Callaghan
Donovan Callaghan 07.05.
Hi Manuel just one other point on "Location' should there be guidelines as to how far from a spot should someone add a location to the location area. Chatham on the east coast of USA & Provincetown are 50 mins drive apart but still in the same area. Not the best example, so I hope you understand.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 07.05.
Good point, I will think about a good definition. My initial idea was to add everything as a location that is visible within the frame of the photo. If I am standing right inside a city this will always be visible but standing outside would mean that the location of the city could only be added if I am shooting into this direction and it's visible. Does that make sense? Because defining a radius is quite hard since every situation is different.
Donovan Callaghan
Donovan Callaghan 07.05.
If you are in the middle of nowhere and the closest map point is 5 klms away do you refer to that point. I thought that if you are trying to find a spot in an area having various locations close to the spot assists when you are searching a trip to an area.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 08.05.
I would probably just use the name of the area as a location. Within the location itself you can activate an area search anyway which means that you as the searcher would have the full freedom to find places nearby but also only the spots that contain the location you are searching for. I really like the example of the "Eiffel Tower" for this exact situation because if I would like to find all places in Paris where I can take a photo of the Eiffel Tower this wouldn't be possible if I tag the Eiffel Tower even if it's within a 5km radius but not visible. Does that make sense? I am fully open-minded here to find a better description of a location and when it should be used because I am not happy with the current wording as well.
Donovan Callaghan
Donovan Callaghan 07.05.
Hi Manuel great site and agree with all the suggestions you all have spent countless hours pondering over. Just a bit out of left field with the issue with duplicate images from different photographers of the same spot. Would it be possible to stack duplicates, meaning that the first image would be the visible image then all other images for the exact same spot would be underneath this image and if you would like to see the other images for this spot you would click on the top image open it would a new page showing all the other images or duplicates. This would mean if you were looking up say 'Boston' for example all the Boston Images would come up with an image that has a lot of duplicates would be seen as just one image with something to indicate that there are other images below. I suppose my issue is the 1st image taken at a spot is not always the best image. This would reduce the number of images you need to scroll through at a spot.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 07.05.
Hey dear Donovan, thank you very much for your suggestion, really appreciate that. There is already a plan for a feature to migrate duplicate spots which was also voted in the last newsletter. If that is done the issue should be resolved anyway since you are now already able to go into a location like Chicago (https://www.locationscout.net/locations/42-chicago/spots) and you have Options on the right side above the photos. If you select "show only best photo/spot" you should then only see one photo from the exact same spot and duplicates will be hidden for this list. It's not the default setting though for now because more often it's helpful to see more photos that might be interesting. Does that solve your initial request? If not feel free to provide me some further details.
Svetlana Sewell
Svetlana Sewell 29.04.
Thank you for this fantastic site, agreed with all the rules. Just one suggestion if its possible, its to add a member to your own profile to follow.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 07.05.
Thank you for your feedback dear Svetlana, I will think about that. We already had the idea to follow users combined with being able to follow "Locations" and "Countries" as well which would help if you want to see everything about Chicago when you want to travel there next year etc.
Jacob
Jacob 12.05.
That would be amazing!
Jacko Leenders
Jacko Leenders 28.04.
I hope a late addition is not unwelcome... I have tried to read everything in this thread to come up with an answer with a question I have regarding spots and directions, but if I missed it somewhere, please just point me towards it. As I understand it, a spot is the location a picture is taken from, and in essence I like this definition, as it helps me to find the same or a similar viewpoint as the existing photo. But now I run into the challenge of spots with nice views/photo opportunities in different directions. Do I ad a wildly different picture to an existing spot or do I create a new spot on almost the exact same location but with a different direction. Lets take https://www.locationscout.net/france/28274-eiffel-tower-pont-alexandre-iii-from-pont-de-la-concorde as an example. When I turn around I am looking at Place de la Concorde, and when I turn around again I am looking at the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor with the Louvre in the background. Maybe adding a directional map to each photo could be a solution? Thinking ahead, if we should create a different location for each direction, maybe adding different distance options to the Nearby Spots page would be a possibility? Right now 10 km is the smallest option, and in a city of Paris this already comes down to 200+ locations with almost 700 photo's. Maybe the addition of 1, 2 and 5km could work?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 28.04.
Hey dear Jacko, no worries, your opinion is always appreciated and there probably won't be a final and static version of the guidelines since needs are changing all the time as well. And you understood it correctly, I just wouldn't use the word "location" in the direct context of a spot since we use this word to describe the city, river, mountain or whatever the photo was taken at. Paris for example is a location which has hundred of spots which mark the exact position/place where you stood when you took the photo. The Eiffel Tower is a location as well which shows all spots nearby within a radius (which can be disabled) and all spots that are marked with "Eiffel Tower" as a location, giving us the chance to find spots that are farther away and still contain the Eiffel Tower as an element in the photo. I will think about the idea to decrease the radius but in most cases that doesn't make sense since the number might not decrease that much for Paris since it's not only showing anything in the radius but mainly the tagged spots. This feature just should make sure that none of the spots is missing when somebody did create a spot but simply forgot to tag Paris. To answer your other question: I would probably create a new spot if the requirements for taking the photo or the time when you should be there is completely different (one might be great at sunrise, the other one at sunset). I find it very hard to write down a definition which is 100% exact and can be followed at any time since there are always exceptions. In cases like that I would always ask myself: Would it help me to have 2 spots instead of one or would it confuse me when I was the one searching for a spot in Paris? I would probably say that 2 spots is better in this case since it would be hard to understand otherwise if the second photo was really taken from the same spot and since it is possible already to mark the direction in which the photo was taken it might be even more confusing. What we definitely want to prevent though are very similar photos (even if one was taken 10 steps to the left) with the same content which would make it harder for everybody to find all the details that are needed to visit this place. Does that help? Thank you for your opinion and please never feel unwelcome because the opposite is the case! ;-) You can see the current state of the guidelines here: https://www.locationscout.net/guidelines
Hanaa Turkistani
Hanaa Turkistani 11.03. , edited
Dear Manuel , Our understanding of the conditions & respect the guidelines , is important to Success , I agree, its CLEAR & REASONABLE.. I have two notes helpful you may like .. 1- A small toolbar can be added so that members can adjust the tilt - flip - color of their images. 2- Another suggestion regarding existing Category . A section of modern and urban architecture around the world would be GREAT :) GOOD & BEST LUCK
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 11.03.
Hey dear Hanaa, thank you so much for your feedback. I thought about adding something to rotate the image as well since that happened a few times already. I will add that to the backlog. What do you mean with color? I am not sure if it makes sense that you would be able to do color adjustments right on the platform since that's more part of post-processing the image. Category: Right now things like that can be found by simply adding these words as photo themes to these spots. But I guess that needs to be reworked as well in the future to be able to find places like that more easily since not everybody is using every keyword as a theme. I will think about that as well, thank you for your feedback!
Cindi Kisiel-Smith
Cindi Kisiel-Smith 09.03.
First, Manuel thank you for creating this site! It's been very valuable to me and I've enjoyed contributing and learning from fellow contributors. I agree with all points mentioned, especially with #3.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 09.03.
Thank you as well dear Cindi for being a part of this community, I am really glad that it's so valuable to you as well, thank you for your feedback.
Christian Lamine
Christian Lamine 09.03.
All the points mentioned above have crossed my way here on locationscout more than a single time. So, I'd like to just state "Thank you, it was about time" :-)
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 09.03.
Same to me, so I think the timing is perfect to make the next step in terms of content quality and if there is anything missing in the future or that bothers you: Please feel free to send me a mail whenever you want ;-)
David Maki
David Maki 05.03.
Agree with all points. Excellent guidelines that will continue to allow this to be a valuable and effective resource. I am looking forward to the mobile app. Thank-you
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 09.03.
Thank you for your feedback dear David. I am also looking forward to have have the mobile app finally in the app store after so much work... ;-)
Heinz Hieke
Heinz Hieke 05.03.
First I would like to praise the makers of this site. On points: Everyone should have his own spots, that's the motivation to post on this site. 1. agree 2. agree 3. the number of images should not be limited, but the number per 24 hours. This will make the uploader think better about what he wants to present. 4. agree 5. agree 6. agree 7. agree 8) I consider the existing rule with the marking of the spot to be completely sufficient. If someone is interested in the spot, he can use it to do more in-depth research on the Internet. The textual information that I see in part is often not very helpful. A little research work can be expected from interested people. 9. agree Heinz
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 05.03.
Hey dear Heinz, thank you very much for your feedback. What would interest me the most is why you feel that having your own spot is a bigger motivation for you. A spot is currently nothing else than a group that holds multiple photos from the exact place together and it doesn't change how visible your photo is in the list views or your own profile. If you click the image in a list, you will always see this photo first, even if it's not your own spot. About the research on the internet: That's exactly what Locationscout is for though. You saw a photo on Google or Instagram or whereever and now you are coming to Locationscout to find exactly these details. If they are currently not helpful I would love to know what would help you more so that we could give some hints within the uploader or by showing various dropdowns instead of freetext fields etc. Thank you so much for being a part of this community and for your feedback, Manuel
Wolf Blecher
Wolf Blecher 03.03.
Manuel... you started this thing and you have been doing a great job. I personally have NO reason to not trust you that you will continue to do so. With so many members, like being a leader of a country there just is no way that you can satisfy every one. So do the best you can and I will be happy. Thanks for all the hard work your doing...keep it up. Thank you very much, Wolf B.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Thank you very much for your trust dear Wolf, really appreciate your kind words!
Rudolfo Dalamicio
Rudolfo Dalamicio 03.03.
Hi Y'all. I think the main question should be about the users: Who uses Location scout for what purpose? Do we all use it for the goal to reach certain points in landscape/ geographical points that we did not know before and therefore share this with the photographers? ( in my case yes). Or do we want pictures of things, therefore not being Locations? ( in my case no) If the system then can identify what is a landscape/ location en what is not, we can then also have a system in place that prohibits people from sharing rubbish/ un-wanted picture. Because that is my own biggest frustration. Next to that, maybe have a look at the quality presented on LS. Maybe don't have people post stuff from Iphone/ Android? The rating system I think is very interesting to zoom in on. I believe giving scores to people posting a new location, makes people want to post a lot of sh*t. If you take away this 'reward' and leave the other rewards intact, I believe you solve a big issue on multiple spots at 1 actual spot ( sorry, I did this too) I think a lot of serious landscape photographers use Photopills. Maybe there is some integration possible for people to share their settings? Or share other information?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Hey dear Rudolfo, thank you for your thoughts! Currently, it's definitely the first goal you mentioned. In the future, I would like to extend that though so that portrait/wedding/...-photographers could use the platform as well. The goal stays the same though with spots that are unique and great for a specific purpose in terms of photography. Disallowing photos from a smartphone doesn't make sense anymore (like it might would have a few years ago) since the quality of photos is definitely not that bad anymore and keep in mind that it's about spots, so a decent photo from a phone might still help you plan your trip. That's why it's anything else than frustrating to me when seeing photos that might not be perfect yet. We all started somewhere and everybody should be able to participate and improve. Photopills: I already talked about that with their founder but they are not interested right now. Maybe at a later point, so if you have any other details that are currently missing within the spots feel free to suggest them. I will add them to a list of already existing suggestions. :-)
Danny Matthys
Danny Matthys 03.03.
It would be good if drone photos are specified as drone, otherwise you search like hell to find the camera standpoint (as a feet-at-the-ground photographer)
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Good point, I will add that to the overall ideas list for details that are currently missing within spots and that we will add in the future. Thank you Danny!
Reiner Boehme
Reiner Boehme 03.03.
As to (1) Single spot is essential as long as the same motive is shown, even if further away. Unfortunately no specific info to added photos can be provided. Sort photos of the same spot by quality,ie Likes. Delete automatically those with the least "Likes" after a predetermined time period. I find the pop-up disturbing and usually click it away. Once I enter a new photo all required info should be provided on the same form. The other points you mentioned are self-understood and agreed.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Hey dear Reiner, thank you very much for your feedback, really appreciate that. (1) I agree on the same motive, but not so much on the distance because it might be a completely different spot that you need to get to in a totally different way. Does that make sense to you? Sorting photos by likes is something I am thinking about for a long time already and that would definitely make sense for the community overall. Deleting photos isn't an option for me though since they are shown in the profile as well. I could only think of showing the best-rated ones in the top and the others somewhere else for example. About the pop-up: The reason behind it is, that these are details that are not tied 1-to-1 to a spot. 100 people could rate a spot, suggest the best timing etc. and then the spot shows the result of all these ratings. Would you be able to rate that within the spot itself, there would only be one opinion allowed about how good a spot is... ;-) I fully understand though that the pop-up is disturbing and I will think about implementing it in a less disturbing way. Only the spot rating is required though if you don't want to provide your opinion about the best timing, crowd factor etc.
Reiner Boehme
Reiner Boehme 03.03.
The problem arises out of choosing location or spot. When I search the Internet for new places I'm interested only in what can I see there. As an example I choose the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Then I want to see the best shots of that mosque from different locations, inside, outside and at different times of day, maybe even season. I shouldn't have to look at different spots. I found one of the best spots quite far away. I noticed that when uploading a photo from a totally different motive nearby an existing spot it is automatically included. That is OK, because the priority is location. But then I must be able to provide all required info with my photo when uploading. That doesn't work. When you said you wanted to clear too many photos for the same motive I misunderstood. Sorting by "Likes" should do the trick w/o deleting any. Pop-up: where can I see the result of many different ratings for the same spot?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Hey dear Reiner, thank you very much for your feedback. That helps a lot to understand the "issue". The basic idea is that a spot is the very exact point where the photo was taken. The mosque then would be a location that you can open and see the different spots where you can take a photo. This helps to plan in advance, because if everything is inside one big spot with photos taken from a radius of 1km that would mean a lot of searching (maybe not even finding) and not being able to get photo tips since they are definitely different if you are inside a building or outside. The same is true for any other information because the outside might be free to access, inside you need to pay a fee. Outside tripods are allowed, inside they are not. So it's often quite different. I am not quite sure at the moment if I am understanding you correctly, because it's not important to provide all the information with the photo. A spot is equal to a photo in 90% of the cases, which means that if somebody else would add a photo to your spot, it should be nearly the same spot and therefore a quite similar photo. If it's not, a new spot should be created since the new photo might need totally different details within the spot description. The spot below is a good example how a spot should look like. The images are quite similar taken from the same place and if something is missing in the description then anybody can edit this spot. This spot also explains the ratings: https://www.locationscout.net/germany/97-kranhaeuser-cologne/225 (if you scroll down to the comment section on the right side there are 9 ratings for this spot - the crowd factor and best timing are averaged between them because if everybody says a different time of the year is best, then no time of the year is best or if 5 say its crowded a lot and 5 say the spot is usually empty, then the truth is probably between these 10 opinions) Did that help you somehow in understanding my initial idea behind the spots and locations? I will try to write it down again with the guidelines because I know that it's not easy to understand, I just didn't find an easier way to make the best out of it or explain it better and that's my bad.
Reiner Boehme
Reiner Boehme 03.03.
It is perfectly alright if I look at a spot and on the same page I can see all other spots nearby. Then I have the complete picture of the location. What's missing is quality, as discussed. Pop-up. Rating is straight forward, the other 3 criteria are not. When they differ, as you described, what do you display? If you can't come up with a clear result, then change your questions.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 03.03.
Agree on the quality and I hope that the new guidelines will already help with that. In general, when scrolling through the images while selecting them for the newsletter, I am always surprised though by the overall high quality. The other 3 are averaged like the rating as well, because it very much depends on the timing. Lets say I've been at a place that was empty just because I've been there extremely early. 10 other photographers say that it's highly crowded, so the system will show highly crowded because that's what most of the people "voted" for. This is in my opinion the only way to get the best results for things that are based on personal opinions. Same applies to the season. If you and me say that autumn is the best and 2 other photographers swear that spring is best, then the system will show "Spring or Autumn are great". If all 4 photographers each say a different season, then "each season is equally good" will be shown which is good information as well to plan a trip and to know that it doesn't matter so much for this spot. Does that make sense? If not, I am always open-minded to suggestions on how to add better details on this without making it too complicated. I mean we could even show each vote for the season by each user, but I don't think that this would help for most of the people since they don't know which one of the photographers is the most experienced one for this exact spot. More votes usually results in better content quality. The same is true for spots that are edited again and again, where photos are added etc. so that an empty spot with only 1 photo might become a great one with detailed information over time.
Jason Donovan
Jason Donovan 02.03.
Thx Manuel. With regards your reply, that is sort of correct, but not exactly. . If I hit the back button, I see the lowest part of the home page, and the gallery of pics I had opened to then view the picture, has to be opened again.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Yeah it's because you extend the gallery, which makes the page very long, then you open a spot, come back and the gallery isn't extended anymore which makes the browser still think that it needs to scroll down to the previous position. I am aware of this issue, but I didn't find a quick fix to that yet. This is not an issue within the app, since it's loading the feed differently. So I don't want to put too much time into this issue for now, but I have it on the bug list and I will see what I can do to solve this somehow in the future! :-) Sorry for the inconvenience right now... I know that this is anything else than optimal... that's my bad!
Jason Donovan
Jason Donovan 02.03.
Dear Manuel. First, thank you for all your hard work. I love the site and its an awesome research facility. I have already used it multiple times to find good spots on my travels. Thanks. I have considered in detail your comments above. I agree with it all. The only issue I have found, is that when using locationscout.net on my android mobile phone, I find that when I open up a picture, have looked at it, and push the back button on the lower part of my phone (not the website arrows), I am usually returned to the home page, and not where I was when I opened the photo. It makes browsing a bit tricky on a mobile. Thank you again Manuel. Jason Donovan
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hey dear Jason, thank you for your kind words. The issue should be solved as soon as the app is fully available. On mobile it's probably correct where you land, but the position in the feed is incorrect then, right?
Jovelin Catherine
Jovelin Catherine 02.03.
Avoir un "manuel" d'utilisateur peut-être ?
Jovelin Catherine
Jovelin Catherine 02.03.
Bonjour, vous comprendrez mon soucis car je ne parle pas anglais. Donc pour moi et d'autre inclure la possibilité de changer la langue ou possibilité de traduction sur les pages sont indispensable.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hé cher Jovelin, je ne parle pas français, alors j'ai dû utiliser un outil de traduction pour te comprendre et te répondre. Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi et il est prévu d'ajouter des traductions à la plateforme dès que celle-ci gagnera de l'argent pour financer cela, car il nous faudra quelques mois pour mettre cela en place. J'aimerais bien l'avoir aussi, mais pour le démarrage de Locationscout, il était important de comprendre d'abord si ce concept fonctionne avant de mettre autant d'efforts dans les traductions. Je ne suis pas non plus de langue maternelle anglaise (je suis en fait allemande) mais j'ai quand même décidé de créer la plateforme en anglais pour pouvoir toucher le plus de gens possible et avoir une base commune pour le début. Merci beaucoup pour vos commentaires, j'apprécie vraiment ! Manuel
Donovan Callaghan
Donovan Callaghan 02.03.
Hi Manuel great work and congratulations on such impressive growth. I stumbled across Locationscout a couple of years ago when looking for places to see in a particular area and have used the site from then on when organizing trips. I have also contributed quite extensively, to hopefully assist others in finding the best places to visit and photograph. I have been quite vocal in my disappointment to Manuel with people who post photos or spots without giving any information I feel information is so important to the whole concept of Locationscout with my list of priority entries being ‘Travel Information’ then ‘photo tips’ and ‘Locations’. The other details are still very important and should be filled in as diligently as the others. I will not ‘Like’ an image in most cases if there is no information! As there are many Locationscout contributors who English is not their first language so as Manuel suggested please put your information into Google Translate and let us know what to expect as the photo and location is only part of the job. Under ‘Travel Information’ I find these to be the most important attributes for selecting a spot. When I am planning a trip, I need to know if it is a 3 hour walk to the spot, or you can park at the spot, what is the parking at or near the spot, accommodation etc. When organizing a trip like I did on our 3-week trip driving up the east coast of USA from NY to PEI & Nova Scotia in Canada I used Locationscout and Google Maps to work out the places I wanted to stop, look at and photograph. In Locationscout when adding a spot I do in most cases fill in every section in the details but reading through this blog I feel I need to step up under the Photography Tips about the lens and settings that were used as well as if a tripod was used along with any filters. On spot selection this I feel is quite a difficult issue. My initial response was there are sometimes too many images taken from the same spot. I agree with this thought but if you walk sometimes 10 to 100 metres from the spot the whole subject can change, and spot can be totally different and can in some cases vastly improved. This does not help with the too many images taken from the same spot.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Fully agree with you dear Donovan and I think that some of the details that are important to you might be easier to fill out with simple dropdowns like how easy it is to get there, if the parking is close or far away etc. I added some of these points already to a list of missing spot details that should be added in the future and that I might write a separate blog post about to figure out what's currently missing and how that could be added to the spots. Free text fields are always much harder to fill out than having to select something, so maybe that's a solution that could solve a lot of these issues already.
David Schartner
David Schartner 02.03.
Hallo Manuel, ich sehe die Punkte genauso wie du. Sorry wenn ich in Deutsch schreibe, mein Englisch ist nicht so gut.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Kein Problem, danke dir David! :-)
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
Just bear with me in this comment because it's maybe a bit long before it reaches the point. Just looking at your Sunwapta falls, because I visited it last year and I knew about this view, which is much better as the public spot on the left of the falls. But two things I didn't go there were: is it safe, is it allowed. The first one you mention, the second isn't clear, even if I was there (we should be aware that illegal spots should not be allowed) And then I found something else missing in this spot: date of creation, because sometimes spot access changes and maybe it's not allowed anymore or isn't accessible anymore
Philip Preston
Philip Preston 02.03.
Peter, your comments about safety and legality are very good points. As photographers, I guess we all hope to get those special shots when we visit a location, but we need to act responsibly when doing so.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hey dear Peter, it would be better to discuss something like that in the comments below the spot so that others that see the spot can take something away from this. In my opinion, this spot is equally good to the one on the bridge, but of course it fully depends on the time of the day and how many tourists are around right now. The spot was definitely safe since the stones were dry but I agree that this should be mentioned a little bit better. I wasn't there when it was raining or extremely cold, so I am not sure if it's still safe then. Same applies to the "is it allowed", which is important for me as well but I couldn't find any hint when I was there that it wasn't. Maybe that changed but as I mentioned in the spot description it's important to use this spot only if there are not too many other photographers to not stand in their frame. I stood close to the right, so I guess I wasn't visible from the bridge anyway but that is something that is definitely always important for me since everybody should be able to get a good photo. @Philip: 100% agree.
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
Some extra suggestions: - Make the guidelines visible or easy accessible when creating the spot. - simple post or javascript check to not allow some standard words like sunset/sunrise in the title
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
They will definitely be shown for a while to all then before creating a spot and afterwards to new users + be easy to access for everybody else. Checking for words in the title is a great idea!
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
1 and 2 are difficult ones to interpret. A good example for me is Pyramid Island in Jasper, most photographer on a roadtrip throught the Canadian Rockies will visit this. A spot was already created, I added a picture, not from the exact location but very closeby and gives another perspective, I added it to the existing spot, because it was so well documented (https://www.locationscout.net/canada/23039-pyramid-island-view-with-bridge/51544) But this location alone has got the potential of about 3 or 4 extra shots in walking distance, for me they all need to be together, because the access is from that same parking lot, but yes they look different and different viewpoints. A small map of all the points together?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
I know what you mean. Often the travel information is identical and I was already thinking about being able to import that description from locations that are connected to the spot. In general, it's good to have multiple spots for places like that, because it makes planning the trip so much easier and you can decide in advance which spot looks best for a sunset photo when you simply can't switch your spot over and over again. The current idea is, that "Pyramid Island" is a location you should add to these spots and when you open this location, you exactly have this map of all these spots and can plan the trip quite easily. Does that make sense? I know it's more effort (and if there are ideas to make this easier and faster I am always open to that) but this is the biggest reason why I founded Locationscout. I always disliked that some details were on the web but finding the exact spot still was a huge issue. Do you know what I mean?
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
So in essence we're speaking of master spots and sub spots. The master spot has the relevant information for that spot, like getting there en spot description, the subspots have the information about the real 'tripod' location (good definition of spot maybe = there where you plant your tripod?), direction, conditions, hour of day to be there. Visually on a subspot should have an icon next to its title which shows that is part of a masterspot, hovering or clicking on that opens a popup with the map of all subspots of the masterspot with the practical information in it, and easily clickable to other spots in the map. Visually a masterspot, doesn't include a picture but shows the map with all subspots (location + viewing direction) and the parking location filled and the global information visible, with small previews of the subspots beneath. Normally everyone is able to create subspots, and when several spots are nearby and possibility to ask for an upgrade with masterspot, done only by 'reviewers', 'owners' which can combine those spots together, someone which lives nearby or knowns the spot quiet well, the reviewer/master/owner is a more delicate subject.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
But isn't a location a "mater spot" already? Because that was the initial idea that locations could group spots to something like a bridge, a tower or even more which is usually more helpful than having to search through a whole country. The issue with locations was, that not every spot was tagged with the correct location, which is why we added the radius feature so that spots nearby based on the geo-position are still shown but can be disabled of course if you want to see only the tagged ones. Maybe the locations need an upgrade if they don't fulfil this purpose right now?
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
In how you explain it, yes than it's a master spot (I was already thinking of solutions, I'm a programmer :) ) But you still have to find a way to combine spots, or view on a map the nearby. The tagging of a location is in my opinion less reliable, I notice it when adding new spots, duplicates, wrong spelling, non-english, it's difficult to find all the tags needed for a spot (also no way to edit them by others). Maybe suggest tags? You have the location, find nearby spots in the DB and their tags and suggest them?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
I like how you are thinking ;-) Already have "showing nearby locations as suggestions" on my todo list but there is so much right now (app, content quality, SEO, ...) that it didn't become relevant enough to be focused right now. But I also agree here and usually it works quite good with the locations as master spots, but of course not always. In the future these locations should also be combined and wrong spellings should automatically add the correct one by having the wrong spellings saved as redirects. The only issue I see with locations are names that are not unique like "New York" as a city and as a state etc. But that could be solved in a way that Wikipedia solved it too.
Vicki Jones
Vicki Jones 01.03.
I love the location scout usefulness and I use it a lot. I’m looking for camera spot and specific need to know info on how to get to spot & other crowd info, etc. Secondly, info on time of day photo taken. Third, which is very helpful the need of tripod & allow or not. Lastly, general lens info such as long, wide, etc. would be helpful or at least distance from subject. Recently went to Las Vegas using this blog. There was no mention of lens used and when I got I needed super wide and only had 24-70 and I was to close to get the shot with the lens I had. So. My point is telling the spot isn’t always enough info. Thanks for all you work! Thanks love the blog
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hey dear Vicki, great feedback. I will add some of these details to our ideas list because they definitely make sense. I already add things like my lens suggestion in the photo tips when it makes sense but it often very much depends on the individual style and the camera (full-frame or not). What I am asking myself is: If there is too little info, why are people not asking more specific questions in the spot comments below? I only see comments about existing photos, but nearly never questions about the spot. Maybe there is something that could make it even easier to get details that are required like that like a "request a detail"-button? (serious suggestion) Thank you so much for your honest opinion, I really appreciate that and that's a great way to be able to improve the platform and the details within the spots that you think that could help you in advance.
Robert Blesse
Robert Blesse 01.03.
Thanks, Manuel. I am very much newcomer to this site, which I think is extremely helpful and I am quite appreciative of the tremendous amount of work you have put into it. I think your guidelines are extremely helpful and overall agree with them. I appreciate the thoughtful comments that have been made about the guidelines by others and believe these are very helpful in clarifying a few of the overall structural needs of the site. Although I am new to this site, I have spent many years overseeing the cataloging of photographic images in a university collection. Based on my experience and what I've seen and experienced on using this site, I'd like to comment on my interpretation of the "spot." When I added a photo to this site today, I dropped an orange marker on the exact location where I took the image, as instructed by the hint. I did not drop it on the mountain in my image. My interpretation of "spot" is just this—the spot where I took the image. Once I have designated this place, I then have the opportunity to list the locations shown in my image, e.g. the mountain. Then I can add a spot descriptions in which I can discuss the locations that can be photographed from the spot. Most photographers who use Adobe Lightroom are probably familiar with the Metadata settings, which give a photographer the ability to add information about their photos. Without going into too much technical explanation, the IPTC Extension has two location fields, Location Created and Location Shown. These two fields were added because there can be a great deal of differentiation between where an image was taken (spot) or what it is showing (location). A rather extreme example that is used to illustrate the difference between these two is that on a clear day, a photograph of Mt Fuji can be taken from Tokyo, which is 100km away. I'm sorry to be so pedantic, but I think defining the spot is very important to this site. As a landscape photographer I'm always looking for particular spots to take photographs of particular locations in the landscape. I know what I want to shoot, I just need to find a good place to shoot it. To me, this is the greatest core value of Locationscout; to help people to find specific spots to capture images. Many thanks again for all your work and to those who have commented on your draft guidelines.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hey dear Robert, that is EXACTLY what a spot is like today. It's the exact place where the photo was taken and locations are therefore addable to describe what you see in your photo so that you could search for Mt Fuji and still find spots in Tokyo because you could photograph the mountain from there as well. In the future, something like this would enable you to combine multiple locations to find only spots that contain all your requirements (we had that at the start of the platform, but it wasn't easy enough to use). While this description of a spot is fully correct, it's still not easy to say: "What if I stood 20m to the left and the perspective and the content is identical?" I would say that it is the same spot then and that it's not so important. But if the direction the photo was taken + the position is 100m off, then it might be totally different since one is a perfect spot for sunrise and the other one is not but it's great for sunset. Not everybody is understanding the system directly like you did and that's my fault because it needs to be even easier to understand in the future and I hope that the guidelines will help with that. I will add an explanation about what a spot is as well, so thank you for your feedback!! :-)
Mika Wist
Mika Wist 01.03. , edited
Hi Manuel, excellent points! Bravo! The amount of duplicates are somewhat annoying and one of the main reasons is that many photographers want the spot to be THEIRS. So ego steps over practicality. I totally agree to combine all duplicate spots and only keep the best shots. Users are so used to the concept in Instagram / Flickr where every photo is a manifesto of photographers talent / persona. This is not the primary function of this site.
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
Points for creating a spot and adding a picture should maybe the same, some people care more about that too maybe?
Mika Wist
Mika Wist 02.03.
That could be something to consider. There are several things which motivate people to create duplicate spots. Whether it's collecting points or "being there first". At least pointwise they could be valued equal.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
And I fully understand the "ego"-part since it's important for photographers to be seen. That's why we switched from showing spots in the home feed to showing spot images, so that it doesn't matter anymore if the spot is new or not. The same is true for the overview pages of locations and countries. When you click on the image you even see the clicked image first so it's not even that important anymore to add the first photo to a spot since everybody might enter a spot with a different photo. Changing the points could be a good idea. I wanted to have "adding" a little bit lower because you get additional points for suggesting changes to a spot which means that you would get even more points than when you add a photo and simply correct a dot that was missing in the description.
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
About points: negative points when adding empty spots? Just a wild idea, don't advertise it, after the first time a user does it, he/she will remember next time :) Simple check on the number of characters in each section to earn points, percent change when editing spots. +15 add spot +2 for each section filled +2 for editing spot with <10% change in text, +5 for >10% change in the text Just some wild ideas to get you going ;)
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
While these are definitely good ideas, this is something I tested already, which resulted in spot descriptions like "..........." just to have the green bar at the top filled (which helps a lot in general). I really appreciate these ideas though and I will try to test even more things. I don't want to force anybody too hard though because having a spot without these details with the exact geo position is still helpful and that's why anybody can edit every spot right now so that these details could be added later, which is something that is already done a lot.
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
Empty spots is better than nothing, but when I see an interesting location. I always comment on it, asking to fill it up. But had some lengthy discussion with somebody here on the site who said: you already got the gps location isn't that enough, do I need to carry your bag. I can understand, a location is already something, maybe a 'empty spot creation' counter on the account and warn the user when (s)he want to create another empty spot again... Or something last time you already created an empty spot,...
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
I am sorry for a discussion like that... that's definitely not what this platform should be about. I think in general I don't want to force anybody because I am already very thankful for so many people giving something back and participating. I would prefer more something like having badges for people that are adding a lot of content to the platform or other benefits. We already added a list of names beyond each spot that helped to provide the content to give credits, but it's definitely not that easy to be 100% fair and I am not sure if that's important anyway.
Vic Prior
Vic Prior 01.03.
Thanks Manuel for the time and thought you put in. I agree with your suggestions and the point others have made about multiple postings of the same spot.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Thank you dear Vic!
Kris Mate
Kris Mate 01.03.
Hi Manuel, Great to see that you are touching upon the largest problem I see with Locationscout - multiple spots that should actually be the same spot. I can only guess the reasons why people do that - is it out of laziness, looking for fame (adding a spot gives you more points than adding a photo), some computer illiteracy? Some of the best locations are "spotted" many times. Regardless of that, I'll comment on the points you've listed: 1) That's the key issue and it should be somehow regulated. Many similiar spots only make additional mess. Maybe some penalty points for obvious duplicates? It would be easier to automatically join the spots - but how to decide which description prevails? Usually there's some useful knowledge in each description - however there are some spots where there's no description at all. 2) Fully agree. When it's eg. a small statue, it should be only one spot. When it's something bigger - view over downtown, a mountain pass etc - it would be good to have many spots, each one assigned to the place from which the photo was taken - of course also limited number of spots should be possible! 3) I am sceptical on limiting number of photos - if these are good photos (eg each part of year or day), one should be able to add more of them to one spot. 4) Fully agree. This is not Instagram. Food (as a view of a food market) is ok, but close-ups of apples, carrots and cakes - that's not useful! I'd expand that to close-ups of typical animals (eg single pigeon), plants etc. 5) 100% agree 6) 1000% agree - I have huge respect to other people's privacy and would only post a photo when the people are almost undistinguishable, like a huge crowd. Otherwise, besides common decency, bear in mind that you are putting yourself - and the Locationscout - at some legal risk. 7) Also agree 8) Already mentioned - for me spots without description are a sign of lack of respect to the users of Locationscout. Primary aim of the site is to help find places - not to be another gallery of your works! 9) Agree A) Agree - some small framing is ok, but this is about places, not "artsy stuff" being main aim of the site When I think of that, I foresee lots of problems if you decide to automatically join spots/descriptions/clean photos. What would be helpful is the position of "moderators" - either global (removing obvious mistakes), or assigned to specific regions/spots. Having made all the comments above, I just want to underline that I am in awe how useful the site anyway is and the valuable input that 99% of the people provide. And sometimes I bow to the beauty of some photos :) We just must make sure that it does not develop into something that Panoramio became at its last days - a bunch of weak quality snapshots of rocks, clouds, pets, holidays snapshots etc... I am looking forward to how the site develops - and remember, it's good, and needs only evolution, not revolution! :)
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Hey dear Kris, thank you as always for your opinion. 1) I think the first step is adding these rules so that people know what to expect. 99% are not adding new spots with a bad purpose. I guess it's still not easy enough to recognize the difference and that it matters to prevent them. I mean how could they since other photo platforms are all different in terms of creating own galleries etc. where everything is about me as a photographer and less about sharing something to help others. Both is fine but I guess that's simply not clear enough right now. 2) Agree. 3) Dani had a good idea with limiting the number of photos per day... maybe that's a good approach? 4-7) Agree. 8) Nah, I wouldn't see it that way. Especially because the platform is English only and a lot of people love to participate but are struggling with the language. That's why they are not adding anything so respect is probably not the biggest issue in my opinion. And I also agree about Panoramio. I only knew about the platform when they decided to close it, so I didn't have too much time to try it myself but that's what I felt when seeing a lot of the photos. Everybody should be able to add photos but it simply doesn't help when photos like that are added and hide the really helpful spots. But I already have a lot of ideas that would help to prevent that, for example by having "Checked Spots" which have a "plus"-state and which are more prominent on the map etc. "Only evolution, not revolution" is a great summary ;-) Thank you so much!
Kris Mate
Kris Mate 02.03.
Hi Manuel, thanks for taking the time to read through my somewhat hectic post ;) Summing up, I guess the key is the definition of the spot, and judging from you and others write, I see there's a common understanding: a spot is a place from which the photo was taken. Of course, when the subject is something small, the spot should be one. But with viewpoints giving different compositions, there can be several spots. Limiting the number of photos per day is an idea worth considering - but maybe 3 is a too low number, let's say keep it at 5? "Checking" the spots is a good idea. So would be assigning some moderators to see reported posts/photos and repair/change/remove them if needed - on the other hand, this is a lot of work and I imagine finding volunteers for this job would be difficult :( Additionally, removing other people's work can cause annoyance with some of the photographers, especially if it was done discretionary, depending on who the moderator was. I don't have a good solution for this :( One idea that I have is also changing the order of the photos in the spot - maybe the photos should be displayed based on the number of likes? That way the best photos would be promoted, sometimes even at cost of the spot founder.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
No worries, I try to read everything because I really care about your opinion. I have to admit though that it took me almost 4 hours yesterday to read and answer everything here and via mail and Facebook... ;-) Your definition of a spot is already quite good. It's hard though to get a wording that doesn't need at least a little bit of context and is 100% precise. Checking the spots would just be something that could evolve over time and that is something that I would only do for regions that are really popular right now. By doing this we could make sure that at least the most important spots are filled and correct. It's not that easy though when you haven't been there yourself. Changing the order of the photos within a spot was something that I always wanted to do and that was planned from the beginning but right now I don't feel that it is necessary anymore since you will see the photo you clicked as the initial photo anyway. So it doesn't matter so much anymore but I think it's still a decent idea. I just don't want to frustrate photographers that took a lot of effort to create a spot and then another photo is shown first, which would be something that I could definitely understand in terms of frustration.
Kris Mate
Kris Mate 03.03.
I fully agree on the fact that removing the "front" photo could be treated as an offence to the photographer/spot creator. That's why there should be better distinction between photo and the spot. At the moment the spot is "authorless" - its founder is not mentioned anywhere (you can see it only by checking who uploaded the first photo) - maybe there should be even better reward (more points, link to spot creator) for spot creation, but at the same time penalties for breaking the rules would be higher? (eg loosing the points, having the spot modified by someone else?) Or maybe the "spot photo" would be the photo of its founder for a specific period of time (eg a year), and later it would loose its position in favour of the "like ranking"? That way a spot creator would have his moment of fame for some time. Another thought, maybe the spots should be like Wikipedia notes - with possibility to be edited by others but with respect to original input? I know that it's easy to write, but I guess that in reality that could be very difficult. Or maybe the spots could have Q&A section where others - non-spot founders - could answer these questions? Few people also mentioned descriptions not relating to the spot itself. I see it as a misunderstanding of the idea behind Locationscout - but simply deleting these photos would also cause more harm than having such shot once per 100 normal spots. Here's one example, a photo from today: https://www.locationscout.net/saudi-arabia/27031-kki-airport-parking-riyadh/60885 . This is a great street photo. But description of the spot is in fact description of the photo itself, including considerations on the camera/smartphone used. On the other hand, I enjoyed seeing this photo. Tough decisions ahead of you, Manuel! :)
Marcelo Aguilar
Marcelo Aguilar 01.03.
Thanks Manuel for the set of directives that I consider appropriate for the development of the platform. A couple of years ago, when I joined the group, I had sought information on photographic tours in Tuscany. These were tours organized by organizations of professional photographers. The dates never suit me, and when they agreed the tour was complete. Finally, I was wondering what is the most important thing I am looking for? The answer was simple, being in the best moment in the best place. Group outings certainly bring us other elements of social life, of cultural life, of criticism and information about our photographic style, in short, it is a good and beautiful experience. But if the factors make us unable or unwilling to participate in these organized outings, the information that Locationscout gives us is precious to organize ourselves. That is why I will go directly to the source. For me, the most useful information is what is the best place and the best time for that unique landscape to be valued? In portraits photography would be: what is the best profile of the model ?. I believe that these elements have been precisely defined in the written form that accompanies each spot. For all this I think a little order would be good. Reducing the number of spots of a well defined site seems appropriate. Food photographs have other places to be placed. The photographs of beautiful models alike. I find it useful for each person to ask themselves: will the photo I am going to publish help someone find this place with almost the same elements? The photographs of people or moments of life of the place do not seem to disrespect me if there was consent. They show ethnic characteristics or provide elements of life and culture that can be interesting for many people. Perhaps one of the elements that bothers me the most is the publication of photographs of the same subject, made by the same person, in which there is some insignificant variant. For me, that is part of a search for photographic artistic perfection that has no place on the platform. Finally, I do not want to eternalize in the discussion, I simply hope to be useful in my purposes. LocScout, gives us the opportunity to discover the world with the eyes of those who love photography. To share the beauties that have excited us by giving, in an altruistic way, the secret of that particular moment. I deeply wish that this is the way to go.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
"will the photo I am going to publish help someone find this place with almost the same elements?" That's exactly what somebody should ask him/herself, I fully agree. And I also agree on photos of people if they are fine with being shown online in combination with the geo position. Thank you very much for your kind words dear Marcelo. I think the community is already on a very good way, I just feel with you when I see so many nearly identical-looking photos.
Dani W.
Dani W. 01.03.
Hi Manuel, thanks for your thoughts and the great effort you put into this platform. It may be helpful to try and limit the amount of pictures a photographer can put on the platform per day. Otherwise there is a danger some members upload their photo album of their last holidays. This means other members‘ spots disappear quicker and it most likely has a negative effect on oberall quality...just a thought. Thanks again for keeping up the great work!
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar 02.03.
Hi, I totally agree with Dani that putting a limit to upload per day. I've seen uploading 15 or 20 photos a day and without adding any information. Just an idea, can you make it mandatory to input all the relevant information about the spot before it gets uploaded?
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
Limit per day is the way to go, but not a total limit As Kris Mate suggested above, sometimes the spot can deliver more than 2 beautiful shots depending on conditions
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Limit per day per spot is a really nice idea!
Holger Pleus
Holger Pleus 01.03.
Hi Manuel, most of your points (if not all) speak from my heart. This is exactly how I always imagined the purpose of this platform. Also the idea with the limitation to two pictures per user and spot finds my full agreement. Thanks for your great work.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
Thank you dear Holger for your opinion! :-)
Philip Preston
Philip Preston 01.03.
I think your draft comments are good, and help to clarify a number of issues when uploading photos to the site. I have a couple of points: (1) Re the definition of a 'Spot', I am not completely clear whether this refers to the subject matter in the photograph, for example, a bridge, or the direction of view towards the 'spot'? Personally, I would prefer the 'Spot' to be the subject of the photograph, regardless of the precise location it was actually taken from. This way, there is no ambiguity as to whether the spot is the subject or the location/viewpoint it was taken from. (2) My second point is slightly related to point 1 above and concerns the 'Photo Tips'. At present, there can only be one photo tip for a Spot (ie, multiple tips can be made, but only by one person). I think it would be interesting/useful if multiple people could add their own tips, but only to their own submitted photograph. For example, tips might vary dependent on the type of image being produced, eg daytime, no tripod, night-time needs tripod, at the moment, this is not possible. Final comment is just to say that as a relatively new contributor, thanks for setting up and developing Locationscout, its a nice resource for photographers.
Tra Selby
Tra Selby 01.03.
Great points Philip. If I may, I'd like to chime in and add to your points for Manuel. (1) I was thinking along the same lines as you in that a "spot" should maybe be defined as a specific subject. But then I was thinking about a large subject such as a mountain or in your example a bridge, there could be multiple shooting locations for that same subject which may require specific approaches or details needed for each location. Example... different park entrances, parking locations, entrance fees, etc. I also don't think "spots" should be defined too specific, because I feel a photographer should be creating the photo from the perspective that is desirable to them. I'm thinking the "spot" should be more defined by drastically different perspectives, but what is drastically different is tough to define as well. May have to be what Manuel thinks is a different perspective. Manuel could review and determine for what he thinks, and contributors could also assist him in reporting what we may think is a same spot. (2) I like your thoughts on this too, and would like to add to it. I'd like to see everyone's photo tips on the main page of the spot, but maybe a link or pop up for each tip showing the photo related to that tip might be helpful with what you are desiring.
Philip Preston
Philip Preston 01.03.
Tra, thanks for your thoughts on my comments. I agree with you that there could be multiple viewpoints for some large subjects like mountains etc, therefore it's not easy regards how to deal with this on Locationscout. But, I still think this could be dealt with by the spot being the subject matter, such as mountain or bridge, and then any additional information could be dealt with under my point 2 above. So if you wanted to mention which park entrance to use and where to stand when taking the photo, that could be entered in the Photo Tips section if each photo had its own photo tips. But, it's Manuel's website, and as it's impossible to please all people all of the time, I am glad it's Manuel who has to make this decision!
Peter Luxem
Peter Luxem 02.03.
I agree with all those comments above, it's a thin line and not every spot is the same. Maybe for some locations there should be 'admins' or 'reviewers' which know the location and review entries.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 02.03.
@Philip: (1) I will try to redefine that as soon as possible. Currently, it's quite the opposite because I always disliked that I saw photos from the Eiffel Tower for example and this as a piece of information alone simply doesn't help at all to find this spot since it could be everywhere in Paris. That's why I founded Locationscout where every spot should be the exact place the photo was taken and via the location "Eiffel Tower" I then can see all these markers on the map and plan my favorite position in advance. This fits to what Tra wrote about the mountain. Reviewing isn't possible though because there are already up to 200 photos uploaded each day + countless change requests + support mails + further development of the platform/app. We already have a feature to move photos to other spots and there will be a feature soon to merge spots to one big spot, which should resolve a lot of issues but in general, my highest priority is to reduce the amount of administrative work because that's all something that could be invested in the platform itself. (2) That's a good idea. I am not sure though if it really makes sense because every photo is different and people can already ask for specific advice via a spot image comment. The photo tips was intended to add details like: A wide-angle lens is recommended / You are standing on a bridge with a cable car behind you, so try to wait until it passed / Take high-knee boots with you because you can get a better perspective from inside the river / A tripod isn't allowed, but you can place your camera on the heaters and use something to position the lens correctly / ... All these hints are less about the very specific photo because that's something everybody has a different approach and where tutorials + this blog probably might help more since the issues you have in the field are often very similar for long exposures, having a glass window in front of you etc. I already thought about adding advice bound to the photo themes though, so that if somebody tags a spot as a waterfall, you would immediately see tips to photograph a waterfall and solutions to the issues you usually have when photographing a waterfall. Thank you so much again guys for this very constructive feedback, that helps a lot!
Astrid Hall
Astrid Hall 01.03.
Manuel, very well written, however I think you need to define „same spot“. I‘ve been to popular spots before and noticed that fellow photographers had not ventured beyond the bend or an extra 500m, which seemed to me to make a difference. Is it still the same spot? Wrt 5. „foreign“ means „ausländisch“, I believe you want to say spots that are not your own, rather than spots not from your own country...
Philip Preston
Philip Preston 01.03.
I wondered about use of the word 'foreign' in point 5 also. I am assuming this is saying do not upload any photographs for which you are not the copyright holder?
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Ups, that's my bad. I just had a look into some translation tools and foreign definitely means "fremd", so you shouldn't upload photos that you didn't take is simply what I wanted to say. I will fix that to make it easier to understand. ;-) Defining "same spot" is something I am thinking about for years now I guess. Often it's not as simple as saying: "within 200m" because the perspective matters as well and the distance of the object, because if you take a photo of a skyline it usually doesn't matter so much if you stand a little bit more to the left or to the right. I am very open-minded for a specific definition, but I will try to redefine that as well as soon as possible, thank you for your feedback dear Astrid (and of course to you too Philip for your clarification). :-)
Stephane Schmuck
Stephane Schmuck 01.03.
Hi Manual, maybe you should add something about temporary spots like christmas market or some exhibitions and temporary art installations. I think for seasonal events it should be mentioned, and unique events should be banned. Regards, Stéphane
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Very good point with temporary and unique events. We already had an event section covering these types of events, but it's currently removed because we wanted to focus on making everything around spots as good as possible first before we start with events and everything else that could make sense as well.
Guillermo Velez
Guillermo Velez 01.03.
Manuel, great well thought guidance , appreciated that you want to know our opinion, that’s very valuable as well. Everything make sense.
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Thank you dear Guillermo for your opinion!
Eduardo Angielczyk
Eduardo Angielczyk 01.03.
Hello Manuel, I agree with the guidelines, it's a great idea (as all your work btw).
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Hehe, thank you dear Eduardo!! Glad that you like it! :)
Tra Selby
Tra Selby 01.03.
Great idea Manuel, and needed for sure to keep user interaction simple and clear. I like all your guidelines and additional recommendations. They seem clear and simple. Here is a couple things that popped into my mind as I read them, hope it helps... #3, I completely agree with you to limit posts to 2 a person per site. There are other sites for putting your work out there for public viewing. #6, Good guideline, but may be hard to enforce adult permissions without a model release. I'm thinking of how difficult it may be to get permissions during street shooting, considering people may be passing by quickly. I myself, sometimes don't even know I have that great street shot until I'm home working post processing. Definitely worth putting down as a guideline tho. Thank you for sharing your ideas and improving the site!
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Thank you very much for your detailed feedback! #3 is so complicated because sometimes it totally makes sense, especially if somebody took photos from different daytimes and seasons, so that would be extremely helpful for others and not something I would like to limit immediately. But currently that's quite rare, so limiting would help improving spots with lots of identical photos quite easily. Permissions for street shootings are difficult for sure. I guess I would need more information about that by various street photographers and how this is currently handled, since there are definitely exceptions to this rule. I fully understand your perspective here.
Rick Wilhoit
Rick Wilhoit 01.03.
Manuel: All very reasonable and well thought out guidelines that everyone who pays attention should be able to follow. Thanks for this excellent site!
Manuel Becker
Manuel Becker 01.03.
Thank you very much dear Rick, really appreciate your feedback! :-)
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